Food, food, and more food. Who can say ‘no’ to that stick of juicy kebab or another plate of lobster and shrimp soaked in butter? Food festivals are the rage these days. They cater to our ever-changing tastes and satisfy our urges for something different and delicious. However, long queues, sore feet because you wore the wrong shoes, and wasting time on finding a parking spot can get you in a less festive mood. To make sure you make the best of your time when at a food festival, here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Buy tickets in advance

Some food festivals offer free admission, while some require tickets. If the event you’re planning to attend sells tickets, buy yours weeks or days before the event. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to go to a very popular festival and the tickets get sold fast. You can purchase tickets when you get there, but there’s no guarantee for slots and the queue is probably a long one. So instead of wasting your time in the ticket queue, purchase your tickets before the festival starts.

2. Arrive early at your event
Food festivals hold several events for several days, so finding your way around can be confusing. To make sure you get the best seat for a dinner, cooking show, or talk by your favorite chef, arrive at the event minutes before the actual start. This gives you plenty of time to find your way if you get lost and avoid long queues. It can be a bummer if your favorite food show is starting to serve free dinner and you’re still in the queue, waiting for your turn.

3. Check out the menu before hitting the event
By knowing what type of food is being served even before you get to the festival, you’ll have a good idea on which stalls to hit. It’s fun to just pop up at the event and surprise yourself with a delicious treat, but long queues can sometimes take the fun out of everything. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to plan if you want to make the most out of your trip to the food festival. Sometimes, the choices can be overwhelming, especially if the festival offers different cuisines. By having a plan, you’ll be able to hit more food stalls and taste more goodies even if you’re only visiting the festival for a day or two.

4. Wear something comfortable
You’ll most likely spend hours standing up and walking around, so better wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You wouldn’t want to abruptly end your food trip because your feet are starting to get painful blisters. Sneakers or a pair of comfy sandals are your best buddies when on a food festival, as well as not-so-tight jeans and shirt. Since the weather can get unpredictable, a light jacket or scarf can help keep the chill out.

5. Get out of your comfort zone
When it comes to tasting dishes on food festivals, this is your chance to sink your teeth into something you’ve never had before. New to Indian cuisine? Then get a bowl of chicken tikka masala. One key to making the most of a food festival is to get your hands (or teeth) into something new. Or, you can try your favorite dish that comes with a twist. Don’t just stick to traditional dishes or food you usually eat. It’s time to tickle your tastebuds with new and exciting flavours.

When going to a food festival at a place you’re not familiar with, it’s best to bring someone with you to help you navigate the area. You can also book a car hire and include a GPS navigation device for a minimum fee. This way, you’ll easily find the place and have plenty of time to sink your chompers on those delicious ribs or seafood platter.